In less than a years time, with focused teamwork and dedication to a common goal, the team reorganized GHA and increased the Authoritys Public Housing Management Assessment Program score by 33 points, from 43 to 76, and removed GHA from HUDs "troubled" list. Only a year later, GHA had improved its score even further, bumping it up to 94.
How did they do it? A team of dedicated individuals, pulling for the same goal made it happen. Composed of members of the GHA Board of Commissioners, a new executive director and GHA staff, personnel from HUDs Office of Troubled Agency Recovery (OTAR), professional consultants, fee accountants and a public relations firm, the team aggressively set about transforming the "troubled" GHA into a venerable model housing authority.
The Galveston Housing Authority Recovery project was an exercise in teamwork. The success of the project hinged on the teams ability to overcome a number of barriers:
New GHA staff promptly took ownership of the problems facing the agency and completed the build-out of the Island Community Center (ICC), in which GHA is housed. A new-found confidence in the agencys leadership allowed staff to quickly fill GHAs new 81,000 square-foot ICC with community partner agencies, including the Texas Workforce Commission and Galveston College, both of which have brought new opportunities to GHA residents.
Once GHA regained its status, OTAR and the HUD Houston field office worked closely with GHA to reinstate defaulted grant funding, which allowed for the demolition of crime-ridden vacant public housing and the building of 30 single-family home units, a new community center, and 48 scattered-site public housing island cottages.
"The Galveston Housing Authority Recovery project proves that even a housing authority that has had its image tarnished by adverse publicity can work to regain the confidence of its residents and once again become a positive asset to its community," said Strain.
The GHA continues to build on its improved image and level of trust in its community. Press coverage continues to be positive, strengthening the residents confidence in the Authority.
Content Archived: April 20, 2011